Daryl Wood, president of the Fulton Athletic Club, and Mary Crowe, director of the Lake Erie Sports Alliance (LESA), are huge advocates for youth sports.

"Sports [are] great," Wood said. "It builds character. So much about following the rules and learning structure as you're growing up."

Crowe has kids of her own that play hockey.

"What I like to say is that I'm not raising a hockey player," Crowe said. "I'm using hockey to raise a young man"

The Fulton Athletic Club makes donations to charities and initiatives all over the Erie area using the money obtained from gambling games within the bar.

Most recently, $10,000 was donated to LESA, to help with the new nonprofit's mission to provide access to kids who may not be able to afford the expensive sport of hockey.

"Those are numbers that are out of reach for a lot of people," Crowe said. "That is a newer style that has become the norm both in the United States as well as Canada."

Speaking of hockey, LESA is also a leading organizer for the Ukrainian Camp and Cultural Exchange from July 10-28 with the intent of building lasting relationships beyond the borders.

"Sports can teach diplomacy," Crowe said. "Sports can teach empathy to kids to understand what's going on in another country."

LESA is looking for both donations and expertise for youth sports. Here are methods to get involved:

Contact email: [email protected]

Paypal (for monetary donations): //PAYPAL.me/LESAHOCKEY